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Different Training Splits: What’s Best For You? 

10/01/2019
Different Training Splits: What’s Best For You? 

There are plenty of different training splits that you can follow, some more effective than others!

It can be hard to know what to do, especially when starting out…

You read an article in Mens Health and it tells you to do arms one day, then legs the next, and then chest and back the day after. BUT then you pick up another magazine and it says something different…

Like do an upper body/lower body split! 

What the heck do you do? 

Well first off all the most important thing is that YOU WORKOUT regardless. Obviously it’s better to go to the gym than to not – that’s pressuring you go to the gym to train and not have a coffee and chat! lol! some people actually do this you know!?!?

In this article I want to look at some different styles of training splits and discuss them. I’ll tell you which programmes are suited towards beginners, intermediates and advanced trainees. 

Let’s dive in…

#1 Split Bodyparts:

This is an extremely popular way to train, especially for bodybuilders and those looking to improve muscle size. Basically a ‘Split Body Routine’ is where you split your muscle groups over the week and train them separately. For example…

  • Monday: chest, shoulders, triceps
  • Tuesday: rest
  • Wednesday: back and biceps
  • Thursday: Legs
  • Friday rest
  • Saturday: abs and calfs 
  • Sunday: rest

The above is just an example, there are lots of different variations but the idea of training split body parts is that you focus on a few muscle groups and work them into the ground! 

A split body part routine works well for intermediate and advanced lifters but for beginners i’d recommend…

#2 Full Body Workouts:

This is where you train all of your large major muscle groups in one session. If you are new to lifting then i’d recommend training 3x per week and performing full body workouts. For example your week could look like this…

  • Monday: full body weights workout (1) 
  • Tuesday: rest
  • Wednesday: full body weights workout (2)
  • Thursday: rest 
  • Friday: full body weights workout (3)
  • Saturday: cardio 
  • Sunday: rest 

I would recommend picking 1 exercise per muscle group, for example…

  • Chest: bench press
  • Back: pull up (or assisted pull up machine)
  • Shoulders: machine shoulder press
  • Biceps: barbell curl
  • Triceps: push ups
  • Abs: plank 
  • Thighs: squat
  • Hamstrings: lying leg curl
  • Calfs: seated calf raises

Make-sure you select one exercise per muscle. I would recommend sticking to 3 sets per body part, your first set should be a warm up (30% effort), second set (50-60% effort) and then go all out on your last set (70-80%). In terms of reps keep things simple and go for 10-15 reps per exercise. 

#3 Upper Body/Lower Body Split

This is great for both beginners and intermediate lifters. An upper/lower body split is where one day you train upper body and then the next day… you train legs.

For example…

  • Monday: upper body (1)  
  • Tuesday: lower body (1) 
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: upper body (2) 
  • Friday: lower body (2)
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: rest 

When training like this i’d recommend picking two exercises per muscle group, for example:

Upper Body Session:

  • Chest: dumbbell press, dumbbell fly 
  • Back: lateral pull down, one arm dumbbell row 
  • Shoulders: barbell press, dumbbell side raises
  • Biceps: dumbbell curl, close grip pull up
  • Triceps: dips, cable extensions 

Lower Body Session: 

  • Abs: crunches, hanging leg raises
  • Thighs: dumbbell lunges, leg extensions 
  • Hamstrings: seated leg curl, barbell Romanian deadlift 
  • Calfs: seated calf raise, stating calf raise 

Again, do 3 sets per exercise and aim for anything between 8-15 reps. 

Thanks for reading, any questions please give me a shout – get in touch today

personal trainer sheffield

Nick 🙂

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